Malcolm X’s family members have leaked a letter from a police officer claiming that the New York Police and the FBI were behind the assassination of a black leader in 1965.
Malcolm X was a talented speaker who gained prominence as the national spokesman for the Nation of Islam, an African-American Muslim group that supported black separatism. He spent more than a decade on the board before being disappointed and publicly expelled in 1964. He then moderated his old views on the benefits of racial segregation.
He was killed while preparing to speak at the Abudan Ballroom in New York. Three members of the Nation of Islam were sentenced to death.
Raymond Wood, a former New York police undercover officer, was blamed for the letter, which was released at a news conference on Saturday. Raymond’s cousin, Reggie Wood, joined some of Malcolm X’s daughters at a press conference in the Audio Ballroom.
In Raymond Wood’s letter, police pressured his supervisors to convict two members of Malcolm X’s body, who were arrested a few days before the murder.
The letter alleges that the arrests were aimed at removing security guards from their jobs and removing Malcolm X from the door of the room where he was to speak. They were part of an FBI plot to assassinate New York police and civil rights activists.
“Under the guidance of my superiors, I was told to encourage leaders and members of civil rights groups to commit crimes,” Wood wrote in the letter.
Some historians have argued that the wrong people were the ones who were punished for the crime. Manhattan attorney Psy Vance’s office said last year it would review the sentences in the case.
After a press conference on Saturday, Vance’s office said in a statement that “a review of the issue is ongoing and ongoing.” New York police, for their part, said they “provided the attorney’s office with all available records.” The FBI declined to comment.
Ilyasa Shabas, daughter of Malcolm X, said she had always lived in uncertainty about the circumstances of her father’s death. “Any evidence close to the truth behind this horrific tragedy must be fully investigated,” he told a news conference.